Agreed!! A very good insightful thread and explained and illustrated excellently!! I think this is the sort of thing that readers like to read about rather than those countless pages and pages of tvs!!!
I do not mind when all the TV stuff is in addition to the HiFi stuff. I, too, would mind if it was instead of it, though...
... but even then, if it is a reflection of the sales split, is there anything the publishes or the readers can do? I am afraid not.
I am now tweaking the remote - full of pics at the moment as I was practicing with graphics.
Now need to try to integrate itunes control via wifi... with this thing called prontotunes.
This weekend I plan to do a comparison: the current main system as is (mac-dacpre-active speakers) vs
- Squeezebox Touch playing directly to active speakers (analog out and using SB's volume control),
- SB touch digital out to dacpre and then to the speakers.
Should be an interesting one.
snip... I think this is the sort of thing that readers like to read about rather than those countless pages and pages of tvs!!!
Completely agree with this. Watching a system evolve really brings things to life. Great system btw
OK, let's try Squeezebox Touch + active ATCs. Here is the David and Goliath duo:
The back of the Touch has power in, optical and coax digital out, analog out, USB port, ethernet port, headphone out, reset button. Not a bad set of connections for such a small box.
Connected to the MacMIni via ethernet/router and coax digital and analog outs to the Benchmark.
I play some tracks from my favourites on various bitrates up to 24/96, digital and analog.
I find no fifference in sound. OK, there may be subtle differences, but nothing justifying peeping into. After a very short listening session I find the sound excellent either via analog (i.e. using the Touch's dac) or digital (i.e. using Benchmark's dac).
I then try connecting the SB to ATC directly using RCA-to-XLR adapters. (Safety note: read this if you want to do something like that
It works no problem, sounds OK (except some crackling between tracks for some reason). Normal listening level is reached at about 40-50 vol on SB. I tried putting it up to 80 at which point it is just under as loud as I ever listen. I did not try going over 80.
So, the SB Touch and the combo is excellent. I find it absolutely wonderful that to play all your music (and in hi-rez if you want) all you need today is not so many diminutive boxes. Gear like the SB Touch and Sonos are really amasing and more and more gear like those come out every month.
Look at it! the pic below is ALLyou need (ok, apart from a pair of cables) to play all your music collection without leaving your chair - in hi rez, with large display, remote control, with multiroom, loads of functions etc etc. SB Touch would power a USB hard disk and play directly from it no computer necessary.
Wonderful time for hifi, I say! If only itunes store had everythign in 24/96! ...
Really struggling with options for in-ear headphones - putting a shortlist together is easy. Choosing what to buy (by listening) - impossible.
The recent Apple announcement did not bring an update fot ipod/iphone so more waiting is required. Also, the fact that the ipad 2 did not get a storage capacity bump makes such a bump less likely for the next iphone/ipod. Hmmmm....
After a heads-up from another forum member and this HFN article
I looked at the UM web-site and surprise surprise! - they have a free demo available. So I expect a pair to turn up for a demo tomorrow. Finally, an option to try a multiple-driver in-ear monitor for yourself!
No sure ways to comapare to other makes yet but hope is not lost - there may be a couple of options here, too. I will mention these if and when they materialsie.
Glad you now have at least one demo option AlmaataKZ
They certainly look the business and, while pricey, as you've said elsewhere they actually cost less than the direct competition. You never know, they may sound so good you won't even feel the need to demo anything else
OK, fellow WhatHiFi-ers, here is a set of my impressions from a demo set of UM Miracle.
This is a 3-way 6-driver (2 low, 2 mid, 2 high) balanced-armature in-ear custom headphone with detachable cable. They are made in China and the dealer tells me that they use ‘the same drivers as any other custom maker”. A bit of a wide statement, but who knows, I do not have any details about the drivers so he may be right.
This is of cause a demo copy so the shape of the shell is a generic one and instead of a proper custom fit (made from one's own ears) this has universal silicone tips as any other in-ear headphone. Because of this it is not possible to "demo" the fit, only the sound and even when testing the sound it is not possible to test it completely as the fit of an actual custom mould would be different and the fit is of cause quite important for in-ears.
My previous experience with in-ears is limited. I use Apple in-ears (which are 2-driver balanced-armature). They were a massive improvement in terms of sound, fit and convenience of control over the kit buds (the kit buds do not sound any good as you may know). As it is almost impossible to get any demos with this kind of gear, that is the only comparison I can do.
So, at a price of about 800GBP, although cheaper than most if not all other custom-makers, there have got to be special. Expectation is high and I think justifiably so.
So, here is the packaging.
The box is large and decidedly average quality. Two sets of silicone universal tips.
The cable is OK but I would say nothing special in terms of quality. There are mouldable wires in the top part as with most custom earphones. Cable is detachable. The connectors are basic ‘fork plug’ but fit firmly.
The headphones themselves feel I say 7 out of 10. Again, nothing special. The shell is hard (I expected it to be soft or at least softer). What I did not like is that the holes for the cable connectors do not have metal surroundings but have a layer of plastic all around them. That means that after several month of handling the edges around where the connector plugs in will almost certainly start to chip off. Not something I would want to see on any expensive gear.
The fit of the demo version was uncomfartable (and actually on one side painful after a while). I do not consider that a drawback as it is understandable that a good fit is just not possible here as it is a custom thing. So I only have to praise Unique Melody and the dealer very highly for providing demos as nobody else seem to be able to do it.
So, I made a side-by-side comparison with the apple ones, playing from 2gen ipod touch (lossless files) and from Squeezebox Touch (16/44 and 24/96 files). I have misplaced the 3/6mm headphone jack adapter so could not test with the Benchmark.
The miracles must be more sensitive as they play louder at he same volume setting. In terms of sound quality the Miracles had a slight improvement in highs and lows. The highs are a tiny bit lighter (or are they just a bit louder?). the lows are a tiny tiny bit cleaner (or are they just quieter?). The mids seem to be about the same.
I listened and listened looking for differences but there aren’t many. I was really surprised there is no mind-blowing or at least significant difference . The price certainly suggests a much bigger improvement to what I could discern. Nope, there was no anything like that.
The conclusion I make for myself is to stick with the apples until they fall apart (and that will be about a months I think as they already started). If I do not find another make/model that improves on them I will get another apple pair.
Also, I think the less than special quality of the box is simply unacceptable at the price. I would also expect the cable fittings to be impeccably made at the price (or at least be well above average) as well as the connector to be reassuringly highly durable.
So, a bit of a disappointment? Yes. Bad product? No. Good product? I am not sure - becaue of the price and lack of comparison at similar price level. Worth 800 quid? Not for me.
Definatley more comparisons needed. I wonder what the likes of Ultimate Ears, Westone, ACS etc are like.
I am probably a bit too harsh with these impressions but I was not impresssed as far as I was expecting. Maybe the apples are already good enough, the law of diminishing returns etc. Or maybe I am not discerning/experienced enough in headphones. Myabe the real custom fit can improve things further but for me the verdict was very clear. I am not prepared to spend that much money for that little improvement.
If those 800 quid earbuds don't sound noticibly better then your apple ones, send them back!
Buy some Klipsch X10 instead. I have a pair. It's great for use with an ipod.
They are miles better then the sennheiser 300 something in ears that I also own. Subtle, dynamic, natural ,musical.
Thanks, Superaintit. This is a free demo pair, so they are going back.
Th ething is this is the only demo I could find. I would love to have a demo of x10 or any other good in-ear, but the demos are very hard to find.
waiting for the next update of ipod touch and iphone.
my phone is abt 7 yo - ancient! - and the itouch more than 3 yo. So I want to finally combine two gadgets into one but for this I need minimum 64 gig (128 even better) so I can have most of my music on it in lossless (currently cannot on 32 gig).
I wonder what apple is going to release this year ?...
A bit of evolution in using the main system - the bass side of things:
If you have been through the thread, you may have noticed that with the old system I originally had sub settings that gave too much mid-bass and none low-bass.
I then re set it up to go lower and not have that much of a bump in mid-bass. It sounded much better.
I then replaced the old system with the new one - Monitor Audio M3 to active ATC 50s and Rel Q100 to ATC C4. The new setup had deeper and faster bass by design/spec and originally I settled on sub volume at 1 click below max setting (I thought it seemed too high a setting but thought it was compensating for the difference of levels of Phono rca output (sub) and speakers (balanced xlr).
Several month into the new system and having listened with/without sub I felt I had to turn the sub volume down a click and then another 2. It just felt better. overdoing it felt wrong after some time with the new system.
Another couple of months later - today - I felt I needed to turn the knob on the sub another click down. That is total 4 clicks down from the original setting or nearly 1/3 of the overall adjustment range down!
I think what is happeningm is that I am trying to get the speakers+sub to sound as 'non-boomy' as the speakers alone.
I have been overdoing it so much!
If one year ago somebody said that I am overdoignit I would have thought they did not know what they are talking about. Now I know myself I was overdoing it.